Stucco is not only visually striking. It is also a though finish, very durable and which by far outlasts wood or vinyl siding. It can withstand extreme temperature changes very well, as well as other weathering factors such as gusting winds, strong rains, hail.
Lastly, stucco greatly improves the waterproofing of your home as well as significantly improves the thermal insulation. Over the years, this means lots of savings. On top of it all, stucco -unlike any type of siding- when properly installed is fire resistant.
As every element of your house, stucco veneer does require yearly inspections and maintenance as required, in order to keep its characteristics and visuals for a long time. It is important to act sooner than later when you suspect or know that maintenance is required. By doing so, you will save money on something you will eventually will have to do anyway and will prevent damage to other areas, like the building's structure.
 Association of the Wall and Ceiling Industry: Single Source Doc. on Fire-Rated Portland Cement-Based Plaster Assemblies.
 Stucco Manufacturers Association: Why Stucco Homes Survive Fires.
Among other reasons, stucco problems can be triggered by:
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Make sure to have your stucco inspected before
serious or irreparable damage takes place.
Yearly inspections are strongly recommended.
Even when stucco veneer has beenproperly applied, if it is not regularly maintained it will deteriorate over time and even worse, lose some of its waterproofing functions.
In this case, failure of the stucco veneer (at the junctions in this case) let water get inside the column. Once the stucco was removed, the level of deterioration was just overwhelming. An accident was waiting to happen.
Cracks can slowly develop on a stucco wall for a variety of reasons, maybe a wall or the floor has shifted, undue pressure has been applied or simply due to drastic temperature changes.
Regardless of the cause, it is imporant to quickly repair any cracks on a stucco finish, in order to make sure that no moisture goes "in" and "behind" it. Just before Hurricane Season is a good time to look for and patch cracks, so when the rains come, the structure of your house stays dry.
On this example, a horizontal crack as been identified. A portion at both sides of the crack is cut, the stucco base is then reapplied over the metal lath. Then the final layer is applied and somoothened out, ready for the finish coat.
In this situation the caulking installed during construction shrank and cracked allowing water to filtrate behind the stucco.
In this case the water had already caused extensive damage, and water was already leaking inside.
The plywood and insulation around the window had to be replaced, reapplied the waterproofing around the window and the stucco was reapplied matching the original texture and color.